You could probably spend a whole day visiting the museums in Ibirapuera Park, but the Afro-Brazilian Museum is definitely a must-see. Although almost 50 percent of Brazil's population is of black or mixed descent—largely the result of Brazil's long history of slavery, during which approximately 4.5 million Africans were taken to Brazil—this museum is one of the few that pays tribute to the Afro-Brazilian heritage. Housed in a long rectangular building designed by famed architect Oscar Niemeyer, the museum boasts two floors packed with wonderful exhibits. Part of the ground floor is reserved for temporary exhibitions, often featuring artwork by contemporary Brazilian or foreign artists. The rest of the ground floor is taken up by a large display of wooden artifacts and tools from the slavery period, as well as a selection of ceramic sculptures by Pernambuco artist Brennand. I highly recommend starting on the second floor, where you can see several exhibits that highlight Afro-Brazilian culture, music, and folklore, including the religious traditions of the Candomblé. Visitors will also learn more about the ethnic origins of Afro-Brazilians, the slave trade, and colonial traditions. Don't miss the stunning black-and-white photographs by French photographer Pierre Verger, who spent many years capturing the rituals and traditions of Bahia's Afro-Brazilian community. The colorful exhibits are beautifully displayed, but lack English text. Purchase the inexpensive English museum guide at the entrance to learn more about the fascinating displays. Allow two to three hours to explore this museum.